Why Virtual Cadavers Are a Great Learning Tool

Students who are progressing through their medical curriculum always have certain anticipation and reluctance related to material related to the human body. It is a rite of passage for doctors that can provide emotional highs and lows. For many medical students, seeing a dead body for the first time happens during this part of their coursework. The anatomy of the human body is a fascinating subject, and it’s even more fascinating to think that students are now able to learn from virtual reality models.

Many medical schools have converted to teaching their students about the human body through digital diagrams and models. In other words, they’re using VR to teach anatomy. It’s certainly helpful to have a digital diagram of the human body on the screen while students dissect the real thing, but what if we could replace the need for an actual body? This idea has become a reality for several medical schools already, and for good reasons.

One reason why schools are switching over to virtual reality cadavers, using virtual reality medical training programs, is due to budgetary reasons. A cadaver lab has to meet tons of government and health regulatory concerns and is quite expensive to add to a school. A cadaver lab that meets all of these standards typically costs schools around $10 million dollars. With advances in digital technology, schools and universities can opt for a cutting-edge virtual cadaver environment for only $70,000. With a virtual reality cadaver system, students can virtually dissect tissue in high-definition and learn about the human body in depth without ever touching the real thing.

Another big factor why schools and universities are interested in virtual reality cadavers, using virtual reality medical training, is because they are more forgiving than the real thing. For example, one wrong cut into a real cadaver can lead to its destruction. With a virtual reality cadaver, it’s easy to backtrack from mistakes and avoid hours of work and learning going down the drain. It’s also much more cost-effective to do away with real cadavers, as each body ends up costing the school around $2,000. It’s also worth mentioning that the process of dissecting a real body can be emotionally unnerving and physically unsettling thanks to the intense formaldehyde smell.

Virtual cadavers are becoming a tool that medical students are excited to take advantage of. The potential for this medical technology is immense, and it’s no wonder that more and more schools are looking into virtual cadavers, or VR to teach anatomy, as a real possibility in their curriculums.